CD and Network Streamers

I've ben out of the audio hobby for some time and just now getting back in. 

System - Bryston 4B ST amp, ARC LS 25 MkII preamp, Aerial Model 8 speakers.

I likely need a decent CD player but these streaming pieces sounds really interesting. The 3 to 5K price is honestly more than I'm willing to spend though as I won't lister to the system more than occasionally. Does anyone know:

1. A decent CD/ Streamer combo for $1,500 or less

2. A $1,000 Streamer seperate they'd recommend




You could get an Innuos Zen Mini streamer/server that has its own CD drive and internal storage so you can simply load all your CDs into it and have access to all your music in any order you wish from your chair along with a good streamer (and no need for a separate CD player).  When funds allow you can add the Innuos linear power supply and get a meaningful increase in performance — so something else to look forward to.  Hope this helps, and best of luck.  

Hi Martin?


There has been a lot of progress over the last ten to twenty years, quickly replaced by streaming. We have gone from CD players and Vinyl to streaming. I have been following and been disappointed by digital for decades… but then CD players (a transport, streamer, and DAC in the same box) started to mature and approach vinyl about fifteen years ago.


In the last ten years there has been a flash of playing high Rez files. But today streaming (Qobuz … or Tidal) can equal vinyl. In my system it does… yes full wide soundstage, imaging, tonal balance… etc. it is worth skipping intermediate technologies like CD players. You need a high end streamer (think Aurender) and a high end DAC. But for $12.99 per month you have access to nearly infinite music… at CD quality or better. Qobuz has over half a million high resolution albums on line. I have had many streamers to get my systems where they are.


Don’t waste your money on CD players. Work on putting together a streamer / DAC… it will future proof you and give you nearly infinite access to music.

If you have a PC you can rip any CDs to lossless files and play them on most streamers from $100 up (with USB input.)  I have a fine CD transport but rarely use it..

I ripped all of my CDs and play them from the Aurender’s internal SSD.  Hardly worth the money unless you either have lots of free cash, or want to spend a good bit of time listening to music.


I would think you intended to say, “hardly worth the time”. assuming you already had the CDs. I’m giving away my CDs.


Fortunately I had ripped mine over the last fifteen years… so I put them on my streamer… but I never play them. They sound exactly the same as the streamed version and often Qobuz has a higher resolution version available. I probably play a ripped CD once a year.

Do you have a lot of CDs?  One thing to consider would be a streamer that incorporates a CD ripper that can also just play CDs.  Melco N100 is a streamer with 2TB storage and if you get their CD ripper it can be used as a CD player.  Total cost around $3500.  The N100 can also be used as a server for other servers that may be on the network, such as in a second system elsewhere in the home

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Thank you all for your advice and comments on this. I just pulled the trigger on Blue sound Vault 2i ripper/streamer combo. I'm excited and ready to get this up and running into my system.


A wise choice at this juncture of your journey into streaming. Vault 2i will allow you to stream with a very good user interface app (iPad recommended) and doubles up as a ripper/storage for your precious CD collection. Take your time to settle down with Vault, get acclimated with your choice of streaming service and see what’s worth ripping from your CD collection. I started off with Vault, enjoyed it for 5 years before upgrading to Aurender ACS100. I figured, I couldn’t live without my rare CD collection that is not available on streaming or them sounding superior to the version available on streaming. Plus, I still buy CD’s (selectively) that are mastered from analog tapes so a CD ripper in my system is indispensable. It was a long drawn out process to rip my entire CD collection but it didn’t bother me as ripping process doesn’t interfere with streaming or your listening.

The internal DAC within Vault is its weak point. It’s listenable but not engaging enough for many. So I recommend buying a nice DAC to pair with your Vault down the road. I also recommend wired connection for best SQ and stability.  

@mahler123 I recently got the 6 TB Melco server along with their CD ripper.  Superb sonics.  I stream thru my Teac dac and a Synergistic ethernet switch.  The cd and the streamed files sound close but not exactly the same.  Nevertheless, one does not sound better than the other.  I am slowly loading my 10,000 cds on the Melco drive.  I am also storing my CDs.  Life is good.